November is recognized as National Epilepsy Awareness Month and the Epilepsy Foundation is promoting the theme, #StaySafeSide. This is a simple way to increase public awareness about the three Ss when someone suffers an epileptic seizure in your presence:
- Stay – with the person and time the seizure.
- Safe – Keep the person safe by moving or guiding away from harmful objects.
- Side – Turn the person onto their side if they are not awake or aware. Make sure not to block their airway.
The American Association of Neurological Surgeons defines epilepsy as, “a disorder of the brain characterized by repeated seizures. A seizure is usually defined as a sudden alteration of behavior due to a temporary change in the electrical functioning of the brain.”
Calling 911 is not always necessary when someone has an epileptic seizure. The United States Centers for Disease Control advises that you only call 911 in a true emergency and in the following circumstances for seizures:
- This is the person’s 1st seizure to your knowledge.
- The person is having difficulty breathing or walking after the seizure.
- The seizure was longer than 5 minutes.
- The person has repeated seizures after the first one.
- The person has been injured during the seizure.
- The seizure occurred in water.
- The person has a chronic health condition such as diabetes or heart disease or is pregnant.
There are treatments available for epilepsy and most cases can be easily managed with medication. To schedule an appointment with a healthcare provider at any of our convenient Primary Medical Care Center community clinics, you may visit our website at www.primarymed.com, or call (305)751-1500 for our Miami-Dade clinic, or (954)289-0000 for our Broward clinic.